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Publisher's Summary

A father and three of his seven children work brutal hours in a mine, facing hazards such as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas about a workers' revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Zola chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of 19th-century France.Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Emile Zola — an artist of unsparing candor — as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. André Gide chose this masterpiece as one of the ten best novels in the French language.
(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Few readers of audiobooks can match Frederick Davidson's remarkable skill....He's equal to the task, rendering this complex, yet worthwhile, novel accessible to all listeners." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

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By R D on 11-15-09

Welcome

Many have braved the unbelieveble trials that underground mining has put upon those who dare, but for the most part it was a decision made in good faith. Back in the days that Emile Zola wrote of there was no choice. He brings to light in an elequent way the sufferage that was put upon family, friends and even beasts. This is mining at its worst. As a hardrocker with 36 years I can say that it worked. Zola`s Treatise brought about many improvements for the coal miners, and after a fashion, hardrock miners as well. Few books have had so much impact.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Ben Miller on 01-13-08

Amazing imagery

Zola's book about the struggles of the French working class and the labor movement in the mid-1800's is conscious raising. It reminded me of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" in it's vivid portrayal of how working people struggled to simply put bread on the table while the bourgeoisie lived in comfort.

The reader gave an excellent performance. As is typical with male readers, he struggles with the female voice. His pronunciation of the French names were superb.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Alan on 11-10-09

Narrator spoils it

Frederick Davis mumbles in a monotone; it is almost impossible to make such a great novel sound boring but he manages the 'almost impossible'. To be honest I don't think he understands a word of it, he reads as though he's translating from a language he doesn't understand.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Helen on 11-03-07

Dreadful narration

Germinal was the first novel of Zola that I read, and I loved it. I went on to read everything else of his (in translation). I was looking forward to listening to an old favourite. However, the narration is dreadful and this is the first purchase from Audible that I have actually given up on.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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